Writing and running with Murakami

Back in June I read Haruki Murakami’s essay in a recent issue of the New Yorker and was instantly captivated. Not only was Murakami’s story of how he entered the writing life (got a little sidetracked in his career running a Japanese jazz bar), but he described his entry into the world of running in probably the most captivating way I’ve ever seen. Let it be known, I do not exercise much at all, so this should be as strong an endorsement of Murakami’s piece as any.

The article was apparently a an advance volley from a book that just came out of his new book called “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.”

I particularly like Boldtype’s review of the book, to wit:

Murakami’s tough-love take on writing seems bracing in the context of an unending stream of “craft”-oriented tomes. Whereas a classic writer’s book like Anne Lamott‘s Bird by Bird deals in trade-based tips — “The very first thing I tell my new students on the first day of a workshop is that good writing is about telling the truth” — Murakami jettisons such undeniable (but not particularly helpful) truisms in favor of stressing the importance of elbow grease. Or, writing as sport.

Not particularly helpful, indeed. I think Murakami’s wisdom may do more for me in the long run. Who knows, maybe he’ll be able to tip my scale and get me out there on the road to running, and writing, a hell of a lot more.

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